TJ Maxx Kids Art Contest

Hudson is a LOVER of ice cream!  Thanks for the fun TJ Maxx!

Hudson is a LOVER of ice cream!  Thanks for the fun TJ Maxx!

One of my favorite stores of all time is having some fun with a Kids Art Contest!  TJ Maxx & the "Maxx Kids Art Contest" is going on now through July 7th and YOUR kid could win $250 savings bond & a chance to have their artwork on products sold at TJ Maxx benefiting Save the Children from TJ Maxx!

Here's what you do.  If your kid is 14 & under, go visit www.tjmaxx.com/artcontest.  Download the the contest info and get your kid coloring!  "What is your favorite thing in the whole world?" is the question.  I honestly think I've personally created a monster in my house because my son said ice cream!  lol Oh well. Guess you only live once right?  Then take your kids submission to your local TJ Maxx store and boom!  They could be a big winner with TJ Maxx and do some great things for other kids with Save the Children. 

I love that TJ Maxx does great things for kids through Save the Children and can't wait to see what your kids drew! 

Mine?  Well.. minus the fact that he's the cutest thing in the world - I had to help him a little bit as he tried to DRAW with his bowl of ice cream.  Great stuff, right? We have a bit of an ice cream obsession in our house but I have a feeling that is all my fault. HA. 

TJ Maxx has a great partnership with Save the Children.  I love watching all the fun things they do and can't wait to see YOUR artwork too!

Check out Brooke Burke!  Even she got her kids in on the action!


Happy Father's Day from Nattie and the WWE

Many of you know how much fun I've had in the past year since meeting the WWE at Blogger Bash during the KidzVuz event.  I've met Nattie from Total Divas a couple times now and love how down to Earth and real she is.  She is such an asset to that organization with the way she loves to be around kids & share her truth with her fans. 

In honor of dad's day - here is a guest post from THE Nattie herself!  

Meet Nattie's Daddy: Father's Day Edition

Most people know that I have followed in my dad’s footsteps professionally, carrying on the Hart family legacy in WWE. However, what people don’t know, is how much I’ve followed his example outside of the ring. It’s easy for people to think that because of my last name, I was handed my position as a WWE Diva.  The truth is, I struggled a lot to make it to the WWE.  I am grateful for those doors being slammed in my face. I kept going, following my heartbeat, my pulse, and what made me excited to wake up every morning, my love for wrestling. I didn't realize it at the time, but all of the tiny wars and setbacks would make me stronger than I could ever imagine. My dad reminded me that I would become more skilled learning how to "drive" on that winding road, than on that straight, "perfect" road. So I kept going. I persevered through years of being rejected, trying to make it to WWE. It is true, I am my father’s daughter. Our professions may be the same, but I’ve learned much more about life from my father than I could ever learn about wrestling. Growing up, my father instilled in me several key values that have made me the person I am today. Most importantly, hard work and determination pay off, family will always come first and having fun is more important than winning. After all, in the end, it's the fun stuff in life that we want to remember!

My father always had goals. Before he came to WWE, he was a world class shot-putter. He went to UCLA on a full scholarship. He played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders. Then, he went on to become a multiple-time WWE Tag Team Champion.  My dad was always working toward something. He had this incredible discipline inside of him. When he put his mind to it, there was nothing he couldn't do. He showed me that if you never stop setting small goals, big dreams come true as long as you have enough determination and motivation to not give up. He taught me that just because someone tells you can’t do something or a door closes, doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. That's when you grab the towel and hit the ground running!  Each set back and each obstacle is a learning experience that provides the knowledge you need to achieve your goal on the next try. My dad showed me that it's ok to fall down,  because when you get back up, you'll be strong like an ANVIL.

I’m also incredibly grateful that my father showed me what unconditional love looks and feels like. He has lived through major triumphs and some difficult pitfalls. Through it all, he never forgot the importance of family. My father has always believed that family is EVERYTHING. Winning the Divas Championship was a wonderful feeling and getting to be in the ring during WrestleMania is indescribable. However, I came to the realization a long time ago, that for me, if I don’t build relationships with people that share in my joy and help carry me when I stumble, my accomplishments won’t mean anything. Every time my dad watches me wrestle & cheers me on, I feel like I'm the champion of the world. 

Finally, my father taught me the importance of having fun... F-U-N! My father is my biggest supporter, and he is always there to remind me to smile, pause and enjoy the moment. I can still hear his words ringing loudly before I walk out for every match: "Don't forget to look out at the crowd and connect with them. They believe in you the same way that I do."  Being a WWE Diva is hard work, there’s no doubt about that. There are long hours, lots of traveling and intense training. However, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I really love what I do. My father reminds me to this day how lucky I am that my passion is wrestling because I never have to work a day in my life." (Insert ANVIL laugh while pulling his goatee!) For that reason, I never gave up on my dream, and now I get to live it every day. My dad pushed me to keep going because he knew I loved this. He knew how much fun it was for me. My happiness made him happy. 

Recently, I moved to a new house. I hired movers, thinking I would just sit back and let them take care of everything. I hate moving! My cats hate moving. My goldfish hates moving (Ok, I don't have a goldfish, but you get it!).  Instead, my father insisted on coming to oversee the move. He took such pride in taking the reins and making sure everything went smoothly. What is normally an exhausting and stressful event turned out to be one of the best days I’ve ever had with my dad. I also schemed up a plan with my dad to break a plastic lion head my mom bought me at a garage sale. I secretly thought it was absolutely hideous. I didn't have the heart to tell her I did not want it hanging front and center in my living room. Who else could I turn to? Of course, I asked my dad for his assistance! I told him to pretend he tripped over the sprinkler outside and "accidentally" broke this horrendous plastic piece that was truly uglier than any garden gnome I've ever seen. Without fail, my dad happily body-slammed this plastic hunk of junk onto my driveway, risking my mom yelling at him if she had caught him. Imagine what the neighbors were thinking!?  My dad did it for me! Mission accomplished! He broke that plastic lion head and my mom's feelings were spared! Now that is LOVE.  During the move, we worked hard, we laughed, and when he couldn’t quite get the giant couch out the door by himself, I got the other end and we moved it together. 

My father has taught me about love, perseverance, reflection, and how to throw a great punch! I am so proud of my dad. I wouldn't be where I am today without him. I'm still working on growing my Anvil style goatee so I can be just like him :) 

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!  And Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

joey fortman

Putting the TMI in Motherhood with #RealMomProblems from funny & fantastic to everything in between! Joey Fortman has been seen on Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends and more!

BEACH and BOARDWALK Summer Survival #RealMomTravels

Summer!!  Ok, sort of.  It's JUNE so that's a start!
Again, one of my most favorite people of all time - Jennaphr Frederick and I commiserated the insanity known as NO SCHOOL!So what DO you do with your kids in the summer? 
Many moms need help planning theirs - so here are some GREAT BEACH finds to make that beach trip a little more enjoyable with little ones!  One Step Ahead is a biggie in our house.  I've known them for a couple years and LOVE sharing some of the fun products I find that they carry!  So in honor of the insanity known as SUMMER VACATION - without further ado:

BEST OF THE BEST:

COLLAPSE A PAIL SAND BUCKET:  Get ready to hit the beach this summer with this ingenious space saver!  No more juggling with your child’s bucket or cashing out for a new one on a trip.  This sturdy, flexible silicone sand pail collapses to just 2 inches high.  Let your child play away with this amazing bucket in sand, water….even snow.  This one is a must have for all beach goers.

SUNSMARTIES INFANT CABANA:   Beach + babies = nightmares of sunscreen and sand stuck all over baby?  Now you can erase those thoughts from your mind and enjoy beach and  baby with this adorable Infant Cabana.  The UPF 50+ cabana pops up in seconds allowing little ones a cool place to play, rest and even sleep!  They even offer a padded, water-resistant floor mat.  Roll-down privacy shades, storage pockets and ground stakes.

 

GELEEO COOLING STROLLER LINER:  Bring on the boardwalk!  Nothing WORSE than a hot baby in a stroller….well now we have an answer.  This stroller pad has an active gel technology that absorbs and dissipates baby’s body heat.  Can Mom get one too?   No need for refrigeration, just pop it in stroller and watch baby relax!   Fits all stroller makes and models. For all ages.

ONE STEP AHEAD SUN CARE KIT:  Last minute trip to the park or beach?  Well, you will be thrilled to know you have this amazing kit in your baby bag.  This take along clip-on pouch contains  5 SPF 30 sunscreens, 4 lip balms, 2 burn relief gels, 6 hand wipes, and 3 sting relief pads. All this in a weather-resistant pouch that can be reused for anything! Sunscreen is for ages 6 months and up.

SUN SMARTIES HAT AND HAIRBANDS HAT:  No more fighting baby to wear a sun hat!  This extremely lightweight sun hat offers the highest UV protection available while still being soft enough to love!  Its made of a peached microfiber that will delight baby’s head and keep Mom happy too.  UPF 50+, adjustable stay put chin strap and machine washable.

HEADBAND:  Stylish and sun-safe?  Now your little fashionista can be both!  Two ways to satisfy her need for style thin/thick to  hold back hair and keep scalp protected.  UPF 50+  :stretchy swimwear fabric that is machine washable.  One size fits all.

ANTI-TIP STROLLER BAG:  How many times have you placed your baby bag on your empty stroller ….just to have it tip completely over?  No more with these amazing stroller bags!  These saddlebags are side-mounted to your stroller making it MORE stable.  Each bag holds an amazing 6lbs, and can work as a shoulder bag.  They even fold into a self-pouch.  What more could your stroller want?

SANI-LITE UV HANDHELD SANITIZER:  Ready to hit the road, but afraid of exposing baby to GERMS!   No more need to use chemicals on every surface baby touches.  This handheld sterilizer uses ultraviolet waves to destroy 99.9% of germs, bacteria, allergens and viruses on hard surfaces.  It can disinfect a 12” area in 20 seconds!  Use this handy tool in home too!  One button operation and requires 4 AA batteries.  Fits easily into diaper bag.  


Roadtrip with an RV

I can assure you that I've said this to my family at least 25 times in the past 5 years.  

"I want to go on an RV trip!"

I do.  But I want to do more than that.  I want to experience what it's like to take my kids camping.  I don't think my husband has camped a day in his life.  It's not his thing.  (Sadly, if it doesn't have intense air conditioning and ESPN, I don't have a chance to ever get him in the woods!)  Well, maybe.  Maybe there is a chance that camping can come to fruition with an RV, right?  That's air conditioning and TV! lol

Some of my fondest childhood memories are when my grandparents would take my cousins and I camping in their RV.  We actually called it a 'camper' when I was little but they had this crazy awesome 'camper' that was like living in a mansion with all the bells and whistles!  I use to always sleep on the table that my grandma made into a bed.  Crab Orchard or Rend Lake in southern Illinois were the hot spots for us.  Crab Orchard Lake, in Carbondale, Illinois was where we spent many of hot, muggy, midwest nights.  Oh gramps.  Wish you were still here....you always made that experience so fun. 

Here I am as an adult, I try to live in the moment more.  Turn things off and focus on being present with my kids. My kids are my life.  They are the one constant positive in my life that helps keep me grounded.  Maybe I plan a little trip JUST with my kids in an RV.  Whoa.  How would that work?  It's a must plan for that bucket list. 

As a partner with Scholastic I always love how they weave such fun stories into their website.  And their partnership with Go RVing is one of my favorite yet!  Find great stories on family travel by road in a fab RV!  From carsickness tips to hitting the beaches on a bargain, you're sure to find all your answered questions about traveling in an RV. 

Do yourself a HUGE favor and enter the Go RVing What's Your Away Sweepstakes Contest!  There you have a chance to share what your family's ideal AWAY is for a chance to win a trip of your choice and an RV rental to get you there!  

What is your ultimate road trip idea?  Is it traveling the PCH in California?  Hiking? The beach?  Heck, you can even drive that baby into the city for some urban RV fun!

joey fortman

Putting the TMI in Motherhood with #RealMomProblems from funny & fantastic to everything in between! Joey Fortman has been seen on Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends and more!

Dad Diaries: The Biggest Thing to Ever Happen

EDITORS NOTE:  THIS IS 'CUZ' NOT THE HUBBY! LOL Yes, someone asked.  Eh. No. But he rocks!

EDITORS NOTE:  THIS IS 'CUZ' NOT THE HUBBY! LOL Yes, someone asked.  Eh. No. But he rocks!

This June we will have been in Philly for 8 years.  I can't even believe it.  That's a VERY long time for this radio girl who has traveled the country in the business before settling here.  But truth be told, Philly was all my husband's idea when he got offered a job after his job moved to LA.  

I had never been to Philly until the day we drove in to this place.  Fast forward to a very tough first 5 years both personally & professionally.  As many of my dear friends and longtime readers know... I use to the be the 'talented' one. lol I was on the air after Boston was born doing afternoons on HOT AC, my DREAM job at Now 97.5.  But... in the back of my mind I always knew that this city was a rock & sports town & there was always the radio chance of a format flip.  Well... I wasn't expecting it only 3 months into my own show...

Nor did I expect the way that it would go down.  Finding out on Facebook while I was on the air at 4:30p in the afternoon that I was losing my job.  TO MY HUSBAND.  Yeah.  That was probably the worst weekend of my married life.  It was a lot of personal heartbreak because I had no idea it was coming.  I felt like the biggest loser after everyone hit the studio asking me if they were losing their jobs when in fact - it was the very first I had ever heard of it.  I felt blindsighted.

My husband who had this tiny - stinky - locker room - smelling - hole in the wall AM station that he moved into and took it all the way to being the FIRST FM sports station in Philly.  And any normal wife would have celebrated to high heaven for their husband because that is one heck of an accomplishment. 

Truth be told.... it was the ultimate test of our marriage.  Because personally.... I was livid.  Humiliated.  Mortified.  Professionally - it was horrific to be the center of media gossip columns.  It proved true to me when my general manager at Better Philly, the TV show I hosted on WPHL, told me that 'I was the talk of the station for a good month' because everyone knew we were married &  everyone had the 'what would you do?' conversation.  

matt-nahigian-975-the-fanatic.jpg

You see...my husband had to sign a confidentiality agreement and if he told me and it got out - we'd both be out of a job.  And I believe wholeheartedly it wasn't suppose to go down that way...some jackmunch from national ESPN wanted to be 'first' and leaked the news - therefore all hell broke loose.

Yeah.  It was a bizarre merge of my professional & personal life.  Brutal AND Bizarre.  Honestly, when big things happen like that - it is the nature of the business.  But that didn't help my heart from breaking over it at the time.

It took me years to realize & understand that he never intentionally meant to hurt me.  Oi.  By the grace of GOD we've moved forward from that awful experience. (Although... there were moments when I let resentment get the best of me.  Especially in the beginning when it happened.)  But as each day passes the healing moves forward.

Yes. I did spend a few years after that in the gutter.  But the light at the end of the tunnel happened when I made the decision to forgive him.  And to move forward for MYSELF.  

The past few years has been great.  And by the Grace of God we've learned and grown, survived & thrived.  He did his thing and I did mine.  And we supported each other in ways that rebuilt our relationship.  That's what marriage is all about isn't it?

So, I share the past with you so that I can celebrate the future.  

We have an ongoing joke in our house where he comes home and says 'but honey, you don't understand - this is the biggest thing to ever happen to the radio station'!  He's use that excuse often till finally I told him - he can't use that excuse anymore because he sounds like the 'boy who cried wolf'.

And today - I'm going to PROUDLY allow him to relish in his accomplishments.  One that he TRULY deserves.  

I'm a competitive person.  (That has a lot to do with my radio years - that old school crosstown rivalry was awesome!!)  And as I watch my husband always take the high road - it's so great to see this come to fruition for him.  He brought in a guy that he'd been going out to dinners with for years!!  He loves 'CUZ'! 

Today, this non-sports fan is her husband's BIGGEST FAN.  Anthony Gargano starts the first morning show in 97.5 The Fanatic history.  As a former morning radio host - having a morning show is the anchor to the rest of the day. Live & Local is a program director dream team.  

So, my dearest Matty.  Even though you've been so cordial about this & the magnitude of having Gargano on your station - I'm going to say it for you.

This is the BIGGEST thing to ever happen to your radio station.  

And a bittersweet long time coming.  I'm so proud of your professionalism.  Your desire to WIN.  Your dedication & your leadership has been the anchor of success to that station.  I admire you. To think of what you accomplished in the short time that we've been here is monumental.  As I watch from the wings how the 'other' station acts worse than 2nd graders - I love and admire how you act and not RE-act.  

You're a classy dude.  And our boys are so very lucky to have a role model like you in their life.  

May this be the biggest & best year for you yet.  Cause heaven knows you deserve it. 

Love,  your biggest fans

PS:  Does this event constitute handbag worthy? hahah  Ok, I just got a new car a week ago.  That's good enough.  =)

 

 

 

 

joey fortman

Putting the TMI in Motherhood with #RealMomProblems from funny & fantastic to everything in between! Joey Fortman has been seen on Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends and more!